Basement Remodeling | Home Basement Renovation | Finishing Your Basement

An Introduction To Basement Renovations

A basement remodeling proejct can greatly enhance your home. There can be tremendous opportunities for increasing living space by finishing your basement, but there can also be a great deal of obstacles and problems that are more likely to be encountered in a basement remodel than in other areas of your home. Issues such as moisture, ventilation, adding plumbing and electrical services, and more can create a lot of headaches, and a lot of expense, when it comes to renovating basements. The upside potential of the added living space without the expense of a whole new addition to your home, however, is often worth it.

When you decide to remodel or finish your basement, it is important to hire a knowledgeable contractor or set of contractors. It is also a good idea to lay out your budget carefully before you begin. More than any other room in your home, a higher percentage of your budget will probably be used for labor and raw construction materials, rather than finished products. This is due to the added work that is required to ready a basement for finishing, such as waterproofing, adding new plumbing and electrical lines, and more. In fact, you can expect to spend approximately 70 � 75 percent of your budget on labor and construction materials, and only about 25 � 30 percent on actual finished materials and products. This skewed budget breakdown represents the great deal of work and preparation that must be completed in a basement area before any finished products ever even make their way into your new basement.

Basement Remodeling and Moisture

One of the most important steps in any basement remodel is making sure that you can keep moisture out of your basement. This is also a labor intensive process. If this step is not accomplished properly, you will be paying for it for a long time after. Damp basements do not offer healthy or enjoyable living space, and if water is not kept out of your finished space, it will ruin the expensive finishing products you add to the space, such as drywall, flooring, furniture, and more. Basement waterproofing is a tedious process and should be handled by a knowledgeable professional, or you should at least have a professional confirm that any waterproofing method you decide on will work well for your home. Waterproofing can range from a fairly simple interior waterproofing treatment, to more extensive and expensive exterior foundation waterproofing and ventilation systems. Whatever the process, the importance and value of proper waterproofing cannot be overlooked, and must be properly completed before contin ing with any further basement renovations.

Basement Remodeling and Plumbing

Another high labor and material cost to basement remodels is possible plumbing installation. If you are planning on including a bathroom in your basement, there are substantial costs involved in installing new waste lines, new incoming water lines, and vent systems. If you are planning on adding a wet bar, you will still have the added expense of running new water supply lines to the basement, although this won�t be nearly as costly as running the water, waste and vent lines for a bathroom.

Labor and materials costs are further increased by the addition of electrical wiring and lighting. Electricians can substantially increase your labor costs, and those costs will vary based on whether you�re looking to add a bit of new wiring and some outlets and recessed lighting, or whether you need a whole new electrical panel that can handle increased electrical demands in the basement and that allows more flexibility with the electrical needs of your basement.

The Cost of Basement Remodeling

All of the above expenses are primarily labor costs and basic construction materials costs. They can be in the range of thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars before a single finished product has even been introduced in the basement. Flooring is an option than can skew expenses even further towards the labor/materials end or make the difference between the labor/materials cost and the finished product cost more similar. Flooring can range from options such as concrete staining, stamping or finishing, to laminate flooring, carpeting, wood, tile and more. When choosing a flooring option such as concrete staining or stamping, labor costs come into play more than finished product costs. Options such as laminate flooring lean the curve more towards finished products since the expense is in the product and they are relatively easy to install. Other flooring options may be fairly evenly split between product costs and labor costs.

The cost of a basement remodel can vary drastically from home to home and the percentage of costs that are used on labor and materials compared to finished products can vary just as widely from project to project, depending on the situation and the anticipated outcome of the remodel. Basement remodels can be relatively simple, or they can be complex and extensive renovations, but either way they add usable living space to the home, and therefore also add value to the home. It is estimated that the average cost of a basic basement remodel is in the neighborhood of $20,000, while extensive basement remodels that include amenities such as bathrooms and wet bars average over $60,000. Basement remodeling costs have also been increasing by almost seven percent each year.

Making a decision to embark on a basement remodeling project must take into consideration many aspects, such as what the current condition of your basement is, whether you have issues with moisture, what you would like to include in your basement remodel, and what your budget is. The scope of the project will certainly affect the total cost, but it is important to do your homework to keep those costs in check. Since a large percentage of the costs are usually related to labor costs, getting estimates from more than one contractor will help to ensure that you�re getting the most for your money. Most basement remodel projects will also offer a high return on investment when selling your home, if done properly.

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